(Copyright 2002. The Tattoo. All rights reserved.)
Making a permanent impression since 1994
April 8, 2002
Mets have new look and visions of Series
By T.J. O'Connor
The off-season is a time for players to relax, improve
their skills and get stronger.
For teams, though, it is a time to pick up new players –
something that kept the New York Mets’ front office busy this off-season.
The Mets signed a plethora of players.
Topping the list is fielding sensation Roberto Alomar, who
came from Cleveland, where he was part of the best shortstop-second base duo in baseball.
Alomar takes Edgardo Alfonzo’s position at second base
this year. Alfonzo is now the Mets’ starting third baseman.
A familiar name for New Englanders is Mo Vaughn, tapped to
replace Todd Zeile at first base. Vaughn, the former Boston Red Sox slugger,
came to the Mets after sitting out the 2001 season due to a torn bicep tendon.
In the Mets’ third game of the year “
Vaughn will certainly hit with power, but a question
remains: will he be able to hold his own defensively on the field?
Another player brought in to boost
Burnitz started his career with the Mets in 1993. He has
hit at least 28 homeruns for each of the past five seasons and has close to a
.500 career slugging percentage.
With his power, he will protect Vaughn and Mike Piazza in
the middle of the Mets’ lineup.
Cedeno has lightning speed and has stolen 146 bases over
the past three years. That’s 48 more bases than the all-time stolen base
leader Ricky Henderson has stolen in the past four years.
Everybody knows that pitching wins championships –
including the Mets, who went out and signed three quality pitchers who will be
in the starting rotation.
Lefty Shawn Estes will compliment Al Leiter, the Mets’
Former Colorado Rockies pitcher Pedro Astacio and the young
star Jeff D’Amico were the other pickups.
In the past few years,
The team finally has worthy replacements for them.
The roster is not totally dominated by newcomers, however.
The star of the
team, Mike Piazza, is back and ready to put up great offensive numbers.
After a disappointing season last year, Alfonzo looks to
recover offensively and get used to his new position at third base.
When Alomar left Cleveland, he left Omar Vizquel, his dear friend and probably the best shortstop in the
So will the “New-Look” Mets live up to the expectations
of fans and journalists?
They should be able to shine with one of the best defensive
infields in baseball (Alfonzo, Alomar, Vaughn, and Ordonez), a lot of power in
the lineup and quality pitching.
Perhaps there will be another “Subway Series” in